Miami is one of the most grossly misrepresented cities in the world. It’s all fun, sun, and Art Deco when it’s featured in movies. You don’t see that it rains torrentially for half the year or that no one who lives in Miami ever goes to the beach. So how do locals enjoy Miami? I’ve already shared some locally-loved activities. But this is how Miamians really spend their days off work, and it’s how you can enjoy a day in Miami like a local.
Have Cuban breakfast
Miami’s a great place to have an authentic and satisfying Latin breakfast to fire yourself up for the rest of your day. Cocaine isn’t as popular in Miami as it seems on TV (not for lack of desire but because everyone is broke as fuck), so locals start their day with the next best thing: three or four shots of Cuban espresso. After that, you’ll be able to lift your car with your bare hands. Pair that with a side of pressed Cuban bread and butter (ask for a tostada like a local) and any assortment of pastries; they’re all amazing. Chase that with a couple of ham croquetas, and you’re basically ready to start an international drug cartel.
If it’s the weekend, go to a bottomless brunch. Bottomless brunch is not just for Vegas hotels. In Miami, enjoying a good bottomless brunch is part of the local culture. Eat your pancakes or whatever, but the main event is the endless refills of mimosas. Which (spoiler alert) are never actually endless. If you’ve chosen this option for your breakfast, that’s pretty much the end of your day. The rest of your day as a local in Miami is to bail on plans you had already made.
Sit in traffic
If you started your day with coffee instead of getting wasted, it’s time to get on the road. Miami traffic is legendary for being absolutely fucking awful. There’s no time of day or day of the week when this isn’t the case. Put on Power 96 and grit your teeth as you brave at least 45 minutes of traffic to get anywhere.
Thinking about renting a car in Miami? Think again!
Bust a mission
Miami locals love to bust missions. It’s our favorite pastime aside from complaining about traffic. How does one bust a mission? By taking time out of days off that are supposed to be spent relaxing to do something totally menial and likely infuriating. Like look for a Christmas gift for your in-laws at the mall or get a new phone.
To best enjoy Miami like a local, you should go to Dadeland to bust a mission. Dolphin Mall is for Brazilians going on shopping sprees and every other mall in Miami was cancelled like 7 years ago (Is Sunset Place even still open?) Dadeland is a shining beacon of a shopping experience where you can spend four hours doing something you could have done online in 20 minutes. So get in line at T-Mobile to see if they have the phone you want. Or pray for a swift end to your life at the Apple Store. Or go to Macy’s to find some presentable trash to give as a gift. Be a true local by doing all of them because it took you 30 minutes to find parking and you want to take advantage.
Show up late to whatever fun thing you had planned later
Meeting up your friend at the beach or the pool of her condo? Sure, you said you’d be done with your errands by noon, but busting missions takes longer than you think it will. Get there at 2 pm. Your friend won’t care because she also took longer than expected busting missions. All stereotypical Miami activities like soaking up the sun come with built-in aggravations from the people around you. The tourists are FaceTiming their friends back home to show them how AMAZEBALLS Miami is and the locals are obnoxiously playing loud Spanish music as if they own all public spaces.
Leave after an hour because honestly, sand is fucking everywhere and it’s gross. And if you have to hear one more reggaeton remix of Justin Bieber, you’re probably gonna fight someone. If you didn’t cut your day in the sun short of your own volition, a random afternoon shower probably will. Surprise! It rains here constantly!
Make dinner plans
Miami is one of the best foodie cities in the country. With an abundance of choice, you’re guaranteed to spend way too long deciding where to eat dinner. And that’s half the fun! Get in the group chat and start talking in circles about what everyone is in the mood for until you’re ravenous. Dying to try that new restaurant in Wynwood? In the mood for sushi today? Too bad. You’re going to Flanigan’s. When you live in Miami, you’re actually required by law to eat here at least once a month. If you actually lived here, you and all your friends would go every week.
Drive home drunk
Drunk driving is not only tolerated but required to live in Miami. It might as well be part of the Florida drivers license test in Miami-Dade County. You only had four drinks with your dinner that consisted of nachos, so you’re probably fine. Whether you’re out in Brickell or barreling down the MacArthur on the way back from the beach, drunk driving is THE most local Miami thing to do because locals do it every weekend.
If you had to walk back to your car in Little Haiti after a shitty punk show at Churchill’s, driving drunk is only like the third scariest thing you’ll do all day. Don’t even sweat it.